I am a shore kid. The salt of the mid-Atlantic is in my DNA. I knew how to swim since I could walk. My dad taught me how to body surf waves before I ever went to school. I can boogie board, skim board, paddle board, surf, surf ski, kayak, canoe, and row. I know how to go out into the water and how to come back.
I spent many a summer in Lavallette, NJ. I used to work as an Ocean Rescue lifeguard while in college and again after graduate school. I was trained and eventually helped to train others how to observe and navigate the water.
Now, I find myself turning the page to a new chapter. The bay will become a river, sand dunes mountains, and white sandy beaches rugged cliffs covered in fir.
On my way West, I have had the chance to pause in Vermont. Somewhere in the Northeast Kingdom there is a small lake surrounded by rolling green tree-covered hills. Somewhere on this lake resides a lady I have come to know. Her name is Harriette.
It has been several years since I was in a row boat. Like riding a bike, rowing is one of those things that magically never leaves your body.
Rowing is one of the the most meditative activities I have ever experienced. You are facing backward, moving forward, and all the while using your entire body and complete concentration to be fully present in order to stay on course.
Sometimes you row to get from one location to another. Other times, it is simply to put your back to the oars. Yet every time you get into the boat, you remember where you started. With an eye to the past it is how we row now that will get us to where we need to be.